I agree with Jo.Jocose wrote: ↑Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:53 amIf you're thinking about a HT definitely take a look at a Baofeng, they're very inexpensive ($25-$30 ) on Amazon and if you decide that you want to go the HF CW route you'll have more pennies in yer pocket for a HF rig.Stanley76 wrote: ↑Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pmSo I'm looking at transceivers and I'm thinking that to start out I'd be better off to get a handheld because (1) Price, (2) I can use it without stringing up some dipole antenna that I don't know crap about (but I will get a longer magnetic mount vehicle antenna). 3. I won't have to set up things like a power supply etc. because I can use integral batteries or plug it into my truck power outlet and (4) i plan on just listening and basically keeping my mouth shut to learn the ins and outs on the bands I'm allowed to use.
I plan on upgrading to a base unit and all that entails later when I've actually learned something. So far all I'm doing is basically studying exam questions to get past that. This is what I'm looking at. I can spend up to five or six hundred but if a less expensive transceiver would serve my purposes that would be great.
https://www.dxengineering.com/search/de ... =Ascending
I bought a Yaesu HT before I was licensed and honestly I dont use it much, looking back I would have just saved my money for a HF radio, maybe something like Steve's ICOM 7300.
Find out (internet search) what 2m and 440MHz repeaters are available in your area. Given that you haven’t found any local ham clubs, it’s possible that 2m repeaters are both relatively distant and not often used. 440MHz repeaters may be non-existent. VHF and UHF simplex (direct communication between two radios) may be impossible if there aren’t hams nearby who use those bands. It really would help if you could find a local ham to fill you in on what’s going on nearby.
If you go to QRZ.com, you can search for hams by location. Just put some nearby towns into the search window after choosing “search by name/address” and see what you find. If you find a few, send them emails and tell them you’re a new ham hoping to learn about the local repeater and activity situation. Hams tend to be both very welcoming and very helpful to new hams.
If it is the case that there actually are no hams nearby, your best operating opportunities may be on your allowed HF frequencies with more distant hams.
Spending a lot of money on an HT might not be a good idea given your location, but having an HT is always handy - especially when you travel. 2m is more active than 440MHz in most places. I have never used 440, but most of the emergency communication and public service ham supported communication here takes place through the two 2M repeaters maintained by our club and an HT is more than adequate most of the time. Lots of volunteer ham communication here is handled by Tech license holders with HTs.
If you can swing it, I also agree with Jo about the Icom IC-7300. Terrific price/features. If not, a lot of good used HF radios can be had for base station use on HF for less.
We can talk about antennas when you get an HF rig.
The Tech license will allow you to get started, but the world of ham radio will really open up as you upgrade your license. (Ask Jo ).